What is Meditation?

sunset-meditationMeditation is invocation. We invoke God’s Presence. God’s Presence is satisfaction. Meditation is an act of inner listening. We listen to the dictates of God. When we listen soulfully, devotedly, unreservedly and unconditionally, we derive satisfaction in boundless measure. Meditation is acceptance. It is the acceptance of life within us, without us and all around us. Acceptance of life is the beginning of human satisfaction. Transformation of life is the culmination of divine satisfaction. Meditation is self-giving. We give what we have and what we are. To the finite reality we give what we have. To the infinite Reality we give what we are. What we have is concern. This concern we offer to the finite. What we are is willingness. This willingness we offer to the infinite.

Assurance we offer to the earth reality. Acknowledgement we offer to the Heaven-Reality. To the earth-reality we offer our constant assurance that we are undoubtedly and unmistakably for the earth-reality, for the transformation and illumination of the earth-reality. To the Heaven-Reality we offer our most sincere acknowledgement of the supreme fact that we are of the Heaven-Reality, that our source is the Heaven-Reality.

Meditation and prayer are two aspects of one and the same soulful reality. The Eastern world is fond of meditation. The Western world is fond of prayer. Both prayer and meditation lead us to the selfsame goal. Meditation and prayer are like brother and sister; they are divine twins. We can say that prayer is the female and meditation is the male. Prayer says to meditation, “Look, brother, there is something high above. Let us cry and fly, fly and cry, and there above we shall get everything that we have been longing for.” Meditation says to prayer, “Look, sister, there is something deep within us. Let us dive deep within and we are sure to get everything that we have been longing for from time immemorial. Let us dive deep within.

Sri Krishna meditated. His meditation-power has taught us many things. But the most important thing it has taught us is this: Truth will ultimately prevail; the justice-light of Truth will one day inundate the entire earth-consciousness.

Lord Buddha meditated. His meditation has taught us that this human life of suffering will, without fail, one day come to an end. The excruciating pangs that each human being undergoes will one day come to an end, and human suffering will be transformed into divine ecstasy.

The Saviour Christ prayed. His prayer has taught us many sublime, soulful and fruitful lessons. It has offered us the message of divinity in its tangible form. But his most essential teaching is that the Kingdom of Heaven is within us. This Kingdom of Heaven is God’s creation, God’s Vision and God’s Reality. God’s transcendental Vision and God’s universal Reality are within this Kingdom of Heaven.

Let us meditate devotedly, soulfully, unreservedly and unconditionally. From our meditation we shall discover the supreme truth that as we need God, even so God needs us. We need Him constantly to reach our own highest height. He needs us constantly to manifest His own deepest depth.

Sri Chinmoy gave this talk at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, on 16 February 1977, published in Sri Chinmoy, A seeker is a singer, Agni Press, 1987.

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